Barley Soup with Porcini Mushrooms
This time of year, nothing comforts like a steamy bowl of hearty soup. Barley soup with porcini mushrooms is a flavorful twist on a European barley soup tradition.
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 1/2 qts chicken stock
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 tbsps thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a quart sized mixing bowl. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the mushrooms and let sit for 30 minutes. Pour off the water into a separate bowl through a strainer. Squeeze excess water from the mushrooms as you pour through the strainer. Add water back to the poured off liquid as needed to make 2 cups. Set aside.
In a large, heavy soup pot, heat the oil and add the onion. Stir as you cook, about 5 minutes until the onions soften. Add the cremini mushrooms and continue cooking about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and 1/2 tsp of salt and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Add the porcini mushrooms, barley, the strained porcini mushroom liquid, chicken stock, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a full boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.